#MaggieNally18 - Brexit as a catalyst for trade with Latin America

The CIPR International's annual Maggie Nally lecture took place this evening. It's always a thought provoking event with excellent speakers. As CIPR President I had the privilege of offering the vote of thanks to tonight's superb key note Ricardo Carioni. Here's a copy of the speech I gave.

Your Excellency, ladies and gentlemen.

42 years on from her year in office, I stand in the shoes of the CIPR’s first ever female President, Margaret Nally.

It’s an honour and a privilege, not to mention a responsibility I take very seriously.

Maggie, as she was known, was a true pioneer. Every year her work is rightly recognised and celebrated through the CIPR International’s Maggie Nally lecture, which attracts highly prominent and wide-ranging speakers willing to share their expertise with our members.

Today has been no different. As your CIPR President it gives me real pleasure to extend a vote of thanks to Ricardo Carioni, the deputy head of mission for the Embassy at Nicaragua, who has so generously shared his experience with us today.

Ricardo’s life in Latin America, coupled with his fascinating career, which ranges from TripAdvisor to William Hill, gives him unique insight into global communication trends and opportunities. The last hour has certainly been enlightening for me.

I know there will be people here who work, or wish to work, across international borders.

Entering new markets and formulating an international expansion strategy can be challenging, but Ricardo’s presentation is an apt reminder of the importance of research, local knowledge, an understanding of multiculturalism and the ability to adapt to local market needs.

Mobile strategies and audience segmentation are key as populations and communications channels continue to grow and new technologies gather pace.

I have to admit that I struggle with the concept of Brexit, but Ricardo’s reframing of this as a catalyst for trade was compelling.

Until now I hadn’t considered the positioning of Chilean wine or Argentinian meat alongside their European counterparts, which perhaps shows how much of a communications void there currently is.

There are clearly opportunities and Latin America is very clearly open for business. It’s a positive note on which to end the evening.

Thank you, Ricardo for an inspiring and uplifting talk.

Please, everyone, put your hands together to thank Ricardo in the traditional way.

Before I finish, I’d also like to extend my thanks to our dynamic CIPR International committee led by chair Shirley Collyer, who are committed to putting international communications on the map.

The team’s work is always thoughtful and valuable and they dedicate a lot of volunteer time to making excellent events like this happen. It’s much appreciated. Please can I have a round of applause for them too.

Thanks to you all for coming and please do enjoy the rest of your evening.